Saturday, September 13, 2008

I exult in the cross of Christ

I used to think that vestments should be clothes without any iconography, I also used to believe that we should carry our cross rather than wear it round our neck.

I remember an elderly nun telling about washing the dead body of a saintly old priest when she was a novice, the only priest she seen naked, he had the Crucifixion tattooed across his back, scarred with marks of his own penance. She said she believed for ages that all priests were literally marked with the Cross before ordination.

Now, I think that all vestments should bear the cross, a priests vocation is to carry the crucified on his back*. I also think it is a good and holy thing to wear the image of the crucified next to one's heart.

*One of my servers suggested, when I said this, that possible Christ was carrying me on his back.


gemoftheocean said...

Your server was wise! Seriously, you have no idea what a touching post this is. I still think you have a slavic soul, and gypsies must have spirited you away at birth to England.

In the Eastern rite liturgy, as you may well know, on Good Friday, the priest puts a shroud of the image of the icon on Christ in the tomb and carries it in procession.

Contrary to what many protestants hold, our religion is a very sensual one, in a non sexual way. It caters to one's sight, sound, vision, touch etc. Contrary to "matter as wicked" Catholicism glories in the sensuous. You post captures this concept clearly.

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Very wise of the server, externals help to enforce interior beliefs. Maybe one day God willing I become a priest, I'll wear vestments like those.

Anonymous said...

That vestment is gorgeous - very similar to the one at my parish yesterday. It was simply mesmerizing.

Thanks - what a beautiful post.

P.S. The homily at my parish was how the victory of the wood of the Cross is continued in the victory of the wood of the Confessional. Wow.


gemoftheocean said...

Joe, I hope you are called to be a priest too.